Hematological malignancies and treatment with hematopoietic SCT are known to affect patients' quality of life. The problem profile and care needs of this patient group need clarification, however. This study aimed to assess distress, problems and care needs after allo-or auto-SCT, and to identify risk factors for distress, problems or care needs. In this cross-sectional study, patients treated with allo-SCT or auto-SCT for hematological malignancies completed the Distress Thermometer and Problem List. Three patient groups were created: 0-1, 1-2.5 and 2.5-5.5 years after transplantation. After allo-SCT, distress and the number of problems tended to be lower with longer follow-up. After auto-SCT, distress was highest at 1-2.5 year(s). Patients mainly reported physical problems, followed by cognitive-emotional and practical problems. A minority reported care needs. Risk factors for distress as well as problems after allo-SCT included younger age, shorter time after transplantation and GVHD. A risk factor for distress as well as problems after auto-SCT was the presence of comorbid diseases. Up to 5 years after auto-SCT or allo-SCT, patients continue to experience distress and problems. Judged by prevalence, physical problems are first priority in supportive care, followed by cognitive-emotional and practical problems. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited.